Tag Archives: weaving

Projects Round Up

So, I’m just back from my holiday (I took part in this year’s Camp for Climate Action in London) and am in that end-of-the-holidays-back-to-school-new-start kinda mood. I spent yesterday cleaning and tidying and baking but I’m still in a really domestic mood so it looks like today’s activities will include sewing. There are quite a few projects that I’m working on at the moment and I think it would be helpful for me to list them in an effort to force myself to complete some old projects before starting new ones.


Black and White Mod Sampler

Both Sophs and I are making a version of Oh Fransson’s Mod Sampler. Sophs is pastel colours with white sashing whereas mine is black and white with grey sashing. My first attempt at machine quilting was a bit of a distaster (luckily the recipient really likes things to look ‘handmade’, aka a bit shonky) so I’m a bit worried about ruining this quilt. The flimsies look great but I’ve been putting off sandwiching and quilting. Stippling is off the cards so I’m currently choosing between a grid pattern and ‘random’ all-over curved lines. I really need to buy some batting and just get on with it.

Metallic String Quilt

Ashley over at Film in the Fridge has been making a lot of versions of her Kaleidoscope string quilt and I can really understand why. I’m a fair way through my take on it using a jelly roll with gold metallics on various colours and patterns, with a dark beigey, creamy colour as the constant thread running through. In all of hers the pattern runs right to the edge but I think I’m going to have to give mine a border in order to get it to thr right size for my bed. I have 2 blocks left to do, then sewing the clocks together, adding the border and piecing the back before I even think about quilting it.

Christmas Block Swap

Yay, our first ever block swap. Sophs and I are really excited about it (Hellie didn’t have a chance to get her blocks done before she left on holiday. I can’t wait to see what we get sent. I’m planning on making some more blocks myself as we only signed up for a six block swap. Here’s what some people’s blocks are looking like. I’m trying to decide what to make with our bloacks when we get them.

Other craft projects

Rag rug place mats

I’ve posted about these before. They’re intended as a Christmas present so I’ve got a while yet to finish them. So far I’ve done two blue and one black, or maybe the other way around. Either way I need to make one more.

Handquilted trivets

These just need binding so it’s a little ridiculous that I haven’t finished them yet.

Beach Houses patchwork picture

I took these to Belgium and to London but I’m still only halfway through. The project was created for the express purpose of entertaining myself on long journeys but I think I’m gonna have to start sewing in front of the tv to get this one done before Christmas.


Tutorial: Rag Rug Place Mats

Hi, Sophia here. I thought that for my first post I’d like to do a quick tutorial. It’s a very simple idea and great for using up those awkward bits of fabric that are too big to throw away but too wonky to be useful. It is also very cheap to make and reasonably speedy. I give you the rag rug place mat.

A black and multi-coloured striped ragrug placemat.

My first attempt at a rag rug place mat.

You will need:

  • Fabric scraps (I used one leg of an old pair of linen trousers for the base colour and a handful of left over scraps for the stripes).
  • Fine cord for the warp. I used linen twine but you just need something that is reasonably strong and not too thin.
  • A piece of cardboard slightly bigger than the size you want the placemat to be.
  • Scissors – one pair for fabric, one normal pair.
Piece of cardboard with slits cut into opposite edges=low cost loom

Piece of cardboard with slits cut into opposite edges=low cost loom

First, you need to cut your fabric into strips about 1.5cm wide. Snip into the fabric along the grain of the fabric and rip it until one centimetre to the edge. Then, a few centimetresalong, make another slit 1.5cm in the other direction and repeat (the fabric will end up in a sort of zig zag).

Then, you need to prepare your loom. Cut short slits in the cardboard every 2.5cm along two opposite ends. If you really want you can cut out every other strip so that it looks like the crenellations on a castle, but it isn’t necessary. You then wind your warp threads around the ‘finger’ on the end, bring the thread down through the slit, across the cardboard to the opposite edge, around the finger and back up to the original edge and so on and so on.


Cardboard shuttle in use.

Use an excess piece of cardboard to make yourself a rudimentary shuttle. You basically want to cut a giant needle out of stiff cardboard. It’ll be a couple of centimetres wide at its widest point and you’ll need a hole big enough to put your strip of fabric through. Thread a length of fabric onto your shuttle and start weaving over and under the warp threads. When you reach the end of one strip of fabric tie on the next using a figure-of-eight knot.

As you go, use your fingers to push the weft threads down so that they bunch up a little.Keep weaving until the loom is full. Then tie off the warp and weft threads securely. Finally, slip the whole thing off the loom, give the thing a little shake to even out the threads, and admire.